Background: Exercise training-induced adaptation of central Blood Pressure (BP) depends on exercise mode. Kendo, a traditional Japanese martial art, is a unique exercise mode because its training encompasses anaerobic and resistance training components. However, the effects of habitual kendo training on central BP have not been established. Objective: The aim of this study was to compare the central BP of high-level kendo athletes and age-matched controls without exercise habits. Methods: Thirty-six young university kendo athletes (the kendo athlete group) and 29 young sedentary individuals (the control group) participated in this cross-sectional study. Central hemodynamics were estimated from carotid arterial waveforms via a generalized transfer function. Stroke volume was computed from brachial arterial waveforms using the Modelflow method. Results: Central systolic BP and Central Pulse Pressure (cPP) were higher in the kendo athlete group than in the control group (both, p 0.01). Central diastolic BP did not differ between the two groups. Stroke Volume Index (SVI; stroke volume adjusted for body surface area) and the maximum rate of aortic pressure rise during systole (dP/dTmax), which reflects left ventricle contractility, were significantly higher in the kendo athlete group than in the control group (p 0.05), and these parameters showed a significant positive correlation with cPP (SVI: r = 0.34, p 0.01; dP/dTmax: r = 0.79, p 0.01). Conclusion: These results suggest that habitual kendo training may increase central pulse pressure through increases in left ventricular systolic function.
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